The award season is already in full swing with nominations, contentions, and wins already taking place – animation studios and crews are eagerly awaiting the race for Oscar gold.
In a surprising announcement made by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Pixar’s The Blue Umbrella has been omitted from further consideration for Oscar gold. Making it the first year since 2009’s Partly Cloudy that Pixar has not been considered for the Animated Short category.
As surprised as we were at this announcement it only made us wonder “Why?”. Did the Academy see the animated film as too photo-realistic? There are so many questions to ask on why this digital feat was taken out of the running. While we cannot dwell on the outcome, we should note that in every theater viewing we were at, we loved hearing the audible gasps (or moments of emotional silence as blue lay battered on the street) from the audience during the short. To us, this is a true win for Pixar and for the entire crew of The Blue Umbrella. To have the audience think that there were live-action shots included in the film (when indeed it was pure animation), combined with the amazing hand-held camera movements, score, lighting, design (and much more) really made us take advantage of the fact that a nomination would be eminent.
This omission also made us really interested in the other short films that were nominated – The 10 Animated Short Films that have advanced to the voting process are listed below along with links to view a trailer as well as additional information.
- Feral – Daniel Sousa, director, and Dan Golden, music and sound design (Daniel Sousa)
- Get a Horse! – Lauren MacMullan, director, and Dorothy McKim, producer (Walt Disney Feature Animation)
- Gloria Victoria – Theodore Ushev, director (National Film Board of Canada)
- Hollow Land – Uri Kranot and Michelle Kranot, directors (Dansk Tegnefilm, Les Films de l’Arlequin and the National Film Board of Canada)
- The Missing Scarf – Eoin Duffy, director, and Jamie Hogan, producer (Belly Creative Inc.)
- Mr. Hublot – Laurent Witz, director, and Alexandre Espigares, co-director (Zeilt Productions)
- Possessions – Shuhei Morita, director (Sunrise Inc.)
- Requiem for Romance – Jonathan Ng, director (Kungfu Romance Productions Inc.)
- Room on the Broom – Max Lang and Jan Lachauer, directors (Magic Light Pictures)
- Subconscious Password – Chris Landreth, director (National Film Board of Canada with the participation of Seneca College Animation Arts Centre and Copperheart Entertainment)
Be sure to listen to our podcast episode 22 where we share our thoughts on The Blue Umbrella‘s omission from the Oscar race.
While The Blue Umbrella is no longer in Oscar contention for Animated Short Film, Monsters University advanced along with 18 additional animated feature films. The long list includes various studios as well as some films which have yet to be released – they are:
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
- The Croods
- Despicable Me 2
- Ernest and Celestine
- The Fake
- Free Birds
- The Legend of Sarila
- A Letter to Momo
- Monsters University
- O Apóstolo
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion
- Rio: 2096 A Story of Love and Fury
- The Smurfs 2
- The Wind Rises
The final Oscar nominations will be announced on January 16, 2014, with the live show and awards presentation airing on March 2, 2014.
Disney has also begun populating their annual For Your Consideration webpage. Be sure to keep an eye on the page over the next two months as additional information regarding the cast, crew, music, and much more is added. At this point, the page contains the full screenplay for Monsters University as well as a full list of all categories that Disney•Pixar is attempting to garner nominations for (image below).
We hope that Monsters University got off to a great start by having Director, Dan Scanlon accept the award for Best Animated Feature at the 2013 Hollywood Film Awards back in October.
Well, although I am very disappointed that they didn't include The Blue Umbrella, I can kinda see why. Artistically and visually, it is basically a game changer for Pixar, but the story was simple and predictable, nothing wrong with that but maybe just not what the academy is looking for.
I am just as shocked as you guys. After watching some of those trailers from the shorts that are moving ahead I just don't see the level of expertise as in the Blue Umbrella. Sure those other films deserve just as much credit as many look to be independent films but there is something to be said that the level of animation that was done with the Blue Umbrella had not been done before.
While I think it should be considered, I agree with Josh Stepp about the similarities with Paperman. I absolutely loved Paperman last year and was happy to see see it win the award. TBU story was very similar, just with different visuals. Excellent visuals, by the way. It's great to see Pixar still doing shorts and these are helping push forward what can be done in animation.
Thanks for the comments everyone – we pulled them together and read them on Podcast episode 22!! Great feedback for sure!